Plans unveiled for permanent traffic ban on Ipswich Waterfront

Social distancing measures in place ion Ipswich Waterfront were being followed as the sun shone over

Ipswich Waterfront closures aimed to make it easier for social distancing - Credit: Archant

Permanent plans to close Ipswich Waterfront to motor vehicles have been unveiled by council chiefs.

The stretch of road between the Old Custom House and Coprolite Street has been closed to traffic since the first Covid-19 lockdown last year, to allow pedestrians and cyclists more space to socially distance.

Proposals have now emerged that plan to make those changes permanent, with a public consultation underway this month seeking views of those who live and work in the area.

Suffolk County Council cabinet member for Ipswich, Paul West, said he was delighted the Ipswich Oppo

Conservative cabinet member for Ipswich Paul West said the Waterfront cycling scheme had proved to work well - Credit: Archant

Conservative cabinet member for Ipswich at Suffolk County Council, Paul West, told Wednesday's Ipswich Borough Council central area committee meeting: "I think the waterfront cycle path by trying to discourage through-traffic is one of the ones that has worked fairly well since the summer, but I won't pre-judge what the view are from members of the public and councillors for the area."

The council has also hailed the environment benefits reduced traffic brings.

The plans propose to remove the parking pays outside the Ashtons building, Salthouse Hotel and the University of Suffolk and replace them with a new footway.

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A combination of bollards, benches and planters will then be put in to prevent parking.

Signs will confirm that vehicles making deliveries to those Waterfront businesses will be allowed access.

Social distancing measures in place ion Ipswich Waterfront were being followed as the sun shone over

Ipswich Waterfront closures aimed to make it easier for social distancing - Credit: Archant

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A survey carried out last year on the changes found 64% of respondents felt the Waterfront scheme either worked well or very well, with 43% saying it did not work well.

Sarah Adams, leader of the county council's opposition Labour group said: “I welcome any changes that make walking and cycling easier and safer in Suffolk. The county council introduced a number of temporary schemes to achieve this at the start of the pandemic and it is right that, where these have been successful and popular with local communities, we look to make them permanent.

“I know that the traffic restrictions on the Waterfront have largely been well received by residents and visitors so far, and I encourage as many people as possible to comment on the new proposals via the council’s survey.

Labour Councillor Sarah Adams said a workable solution was no closer. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk County Council's Labour group leader Sarah Adams said businesses must be fully consulted on the potential Waterfront road changes - Credit: Archant

“However, the council does need to fully consult with businesses along the Waterfront to ensure that any changes also benefit them. While the measures might not be causing any issues during lockdown, it could be a different story once businesses are allowed to open back up.”

It follows plans unveiled by the county council last month to make the closure of the left-turn access road from College Street onto Bridge Street permanent.

The consultation runs until 9am on Thursday, March 25. Visit the website here to take part in the consultation.

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